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2017 ANDE LATAM Catalyst Fund

Congratulations to the ANDE LatAm Catalyst Fund Winners! 

Click here to read the press release.

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and MetLife Foundation announced on March 1, 2018 that they will award a total of $183,000 across four grants as part of ANDE’s Catalyst Fund.

The goal of the ANDE Catalyst Fund is to increase the productivity and effectiveness of ANDE members, while creating tools and insights that can help the small and growing business (SGB) sector as a whole. This round’s winners—ARTEMISIA, New Ventures, Village Capital, and World Vision Canada—are working to increase access to financial services for low- and moderate-income Latin Americans.

An expert panel of judges selected the winners based on their alignment with the goals of the fund, clarity of the proposal, feasibility, capacity, and potential for broad and deep impact. The winning projects include:

ARTEMISIA (Brazil) will identify innovative methods that social enterprises can use to increase access to financial services for low-income Brazilians in ways that are sustainable and far-reaching. This will provide a greater understanding of the realities of the structural and individual challenges and opportunities as they relate to financial inclusion.

New Ventures (Mexico) will test and apply select digital technologies to improve and automate due diligence and repayment processes for their newly launched founder-friendly investment vehicle for social enterprises. This will make the organization more effective in its work to fund promising social enterprises and help the social enterprises reduce their own costs and improve their financial acumen.

Village Capital will support six financial technology companies in Mexico and other Latin American countries with customized training, connections, and human capital support to help the businesses grow and better serve their low- and moderate-income target populations. As a result of this project, Village Capital will produce a new curriculum and content package for small businesses that are ready to scale.

World Vision Canada will test a digital tool—a mobile phone application—that will allow SGBs and their lending financial institutions to track financial transactions over time, improve data-driven decisions, decrease risks inherent in lending, and better monitor their businesses.

In most of the winners’ geographies, the World Bank reports that less than 51 percent of people have a bank account, 14 percent of the population has a formal savings account, and 11 percent have ever had access to credit from an authorized financial institution. Low-income populations are especially vulnerable to high transaction costs, which makes borrowing even more costly than the face value of the loan. The selected winners aim to change that.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How do you define Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs)?

ANDE defines SGBs as commercially viable businesses with five to 250 employees that have significant potential and ambition for growth. Typically, SGBs seek growth capital from $20,000 to $2 million. ANDE Catalyst Fund projects should create tools and insights that can not only help your organization try something new and/or do your work better, but help the SGB sector as a whole.

is this the same program I heard about that is supporting Fintech start-ups?

Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) manages a different Catalyst Fund, which provides capital in the form of grants and advisory services to early-stage inclusive fintech startups, while sharing industry insights from lessons learned about accelerating inclusive digital financial services. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the fund also has the guidance of ANDE members, Accion, Omidyar Network, Gray Ghost Ventures; as well as that of Quona Capital. The fund launched in 2016 and will be active until end of 2018.  Find out more about Catalyst Fund.


The ANDE Catalyst Fund was launched in 2009 with $1,000,000 in seed funding from The Lemelson Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Shell Foundation. Since then, more than $2.5 million has been disbursed to 39 member organizations and the grant-making facility has been replenished with funds from Citi FoundationMasterCard Worldwide, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, and S&P Global.


Special thanks to this year's sponsor: